Kontoor, the owner of the Wrangler brand, has committed to use products derived from raw materials with minimal impact on forests

Kontoor, the owner of the Wrangler brand, has committed to use products derived from raw materials with minimal impact on forests

Kontoor Brands, the owner of the Wrangler and Lee brands that was recently spun-off from VF Corp, has released its first Forest Derived Materials policy, which sets formal standards for the company's purchasing and use of sustainable forest materials and products.

Released yesterday (24 September), the policy prioritises the use of products derived from raw materials with minimal impact on forests and forest habitats, including an emphasis on certified-sustainable sources, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified materials.

To ensure continued progress, Kontoor says it is committed to reducing virgin material use and increasing the use of materials with recycled content, while also seeking innovative material solutions including alternative fibre sources such as agricultural residues.

The move, the company says, strengthens its commitment to responsibly sourcing materials throughout its global operations and supply chain.

"Taking action to help preserve the world's endangered forests is a must," said Scott Baxter, president and CEO, Kontoor Brands. "Doing so aligns Kontoor's environmental actions with our pledge to consistently do the right thing, including standing for the planet we share. Our FDM policy requires us to promote and advance sustainable forest-based products, and we are also placing a priority on alternative fiber sources. This is table stakes for any good business around the world and is the beginning of our journey to advance efforts for this important cause. We encourage others to join us, and we look forward to partnering with the many respected organizations and stakeholders who have already begun this essential journey."

Kontoor's forestry policy covers the sustainable and responsible use of forest products, to avoid the issues associated with deforestation and forest degradation including the loss of ancient and endangered forests, loss of biodiversity and habitat, use of forced labour in making forestry products and loss of indigenous peoples and local community rights.

As a global producer of millions of products each year, Kontoor says it is committed to working with NGOs and relevant stakeholders to ensure a continued evolution of its FDM policy. As part of that commitment, Kontoor is actively engaged in the CanopyStyle initiative, which works with over 170 leading apparel brands to eliminate all ancient and endangered forest fiber from their products.

"Kontoor is helping drive forward the retail industry's commitment to large scale forest conservation and climate solutions," said Nicole Rycroft, founder and executive director, Canopy. "Two of the world's most iconic brands are now part of this global movement to transform their supply chains to ensure the protection of the world's forest and the people and animals that call them home."